A former prostitute has been sentenced to more than three years’ jail for the “sexual servitude” of a childhood friend who she lured from Malaysia to Perth to work in a brothel.
- Woman believed she was going to visit friend in Australia for a holiday
- On arrival, taken straight to brothel to work as a prostitute to repay cost of her trip
- Loans with exorbitant interest rates were arranged through loan sharks to get the woman indebted
- Accused sentenced to 3 years 4 months
Khoo Lay Foon, 38, was found guilty by a District Court jury of arranging for the 26-year-old woman to fly to Western Australia in December 2015.
The woman told Khoo’s trial she believed she was coming to Australia for a 10-day holiday, however, she said, she was taken straight to Sarah’s Massage Parlour in East Perth where “it was made clear” to her that she had to work as a prostitute to repay the cost of her travel.
Sarah’s Massage Parlour
Her passport was also taken and she was told she would not get it back until she had repaid all her debts.
The woman testified she worked at the brothel for the next seven days and, in that time, Khoo arranged for her get loans with exorbitant interest rates through “loan sharks” and also demanded she hand over her mobile phone to cover her costs.
The woman also paid $900 for the cost of her airline ticket – double what Khoo had paid.
She decided to go to the police on January 4 last year after talking to a friend in Malaysia.
Judge Julie Wager said the offences of slavery and people trafficking were “amongst the most abhorrent of all crimes” and were “major violations of human rights”.
Judge Julie Wager
She said the victim was “engaged in sexual servitude from the night she arrived” and must have felt “helpless”.
The court heard Khoo – who worked as a prostitute after coming to Western Australia in early 2015 – was friends with the woman because they had grown up in the same Malaysian village.
Khoo had discussed the possibility of her working in the sex industry, but she said she was not interested.
Despite that, before the woman’s arrival in Perth, Khoo had texted the boss at the brothel saying: “I have a friend arriving tomorrow. Will bring her to 124. Young and very pretty”.
Judge Wager said while the woman was “clearly looked after well” at the brothel and was not ill-treated, “it was not where she chose to be, or what she chose to do of her own free will”.
Judge Wager also said after the woman had gone to the police, Khoo made implied threats to her – sending messages that contained details of her family, including her young daughter.
“You were attempting to intimidate her, to try to get her to retract what she said to police,” the judge said.
Judge Wager described Khoo’s background as “very distressing”, saying she was born in prison where her parents were serving sentences for drug trafficking and she was raised by other family members who treated her badly.
However, she said the offences were so serious, only an immediate term of imprisonment was appropriate.
Khoo was sentenced to a prison term of three years and four months.
She will have to serve at least 18 months before she can be released, when it is likely she will be deported to Malaysia. – ABC News